Daily Act of Homage 

….and in the setting if the sun we will remember them… 

Hundreds upon thousands of men marched through the Menin Gate ; many to never return. The starting point for a perilous journey to the Western Front had once been the gateway to the Village of Menen.

The Flemish people say merci daily; rain, snow, sleet or heat wave it doesn’t matter. Commenced at the official unveiling on July 2, 1928 and carried on relentlessly except during the German occupation during the Second World War. Apparently it resumed the night that Polish forces liberated that area despite the fact that intense figuring was ongoing in nearby areas. Local buglers, from the fire brigade, show up nightly to play the Last Post. During the laying of the wreaths there is such a profound sense of loss and sadness.  54,896 soldiers never returned and are commentated upon the Menin Gate. Belgium honours these fallen and the veterans every day. This is despite the fact that their collective modern society does not remember the First World War. But when war has torn apart your country (twice), you have a deep appreciation for freedom and those that fought on your behalf.

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It was an extremely moving ceremony listening to the intense and proficient buglers do the last post. The wreaths from around the world and locally laid side by side. The pomp and ceremony gave credence to the memory of the men and women who laid down their lives.

Bernie

11 Stories — 11 Days

11 Acts of Remembrance 

Editor’s Note: there are 5 memorials that commemorate the missing of the Yypres Salient. The others are Tyne Cot Memorial, Ploegstreet Memorial, Messiness and Polygon Woods. More information can be obtained at http://www.cwgc.org

2 thoughts on “Daily Act of Homage 

  1. Deirdre November 5, 2016 / 9:06 am

    Every night. Wow – I had no idea.

    My Oma and her family lived in the occupied Netherlands during the Second World War, and the only time she ever said anything about that period of her life was when she (still rarely) mentioned the Canadians who liberated Apeldoorn. She later ended up living on the same street in Fergus, Ontario as one of those soldiers.

    I watched coverage of the VE-Day parades in the Netherlands two years ago, and felt very Canadian, and also very Dutch, as I watched the interactions of the elderly veterans and the young people who had never known war themselves, but who had obviously inherited their ancestors’ thankfulness.

    Like

    • bernielynne November 6, 2016 / 8:32 am

      That’s how it is in Belgium. A Canadian flag on your lapel earns you thanks. It seems odd to us because we feel we didn’t do anything but they truly mean it.

      Like

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